Systematic Theology - Vol. 2

By Charles Hodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII.

THE FALL.

The Scriptural Account.

THE Scriptural account of the Fall, as given in the book of Genesis, is, That God placed Adam in " the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it : for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden : but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods (as God), knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise; she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat."

The consequences of this act of disobedience were, (1.) An immediate sense of guilt and shame. (2.) The desire and effort to hide themselves from the face of God. (3.) The denunciation and immediate execution of the righteous judgment of God upon the serpent, upon the man, and upon the woman. (4.) Expulsion from the garden of Eden and prohibition of access to the Tree of Life.

That this account of the probation and fall of man is neither an allegory nor a myth, but a true history, is evident, (1.) From internal evidence. When contrasted with the mythological accounts of the creation and origin of man as found in the records of early heathen nations, whether Oriental, Grecian, or Etruscan, the differ

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